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Attention Executive Chefs!

14 Apr

ms seafood

Attention Oxford executive chefs (or those who know any chefs and can pass along the word). Are you interested in competiting in the Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off happening May 31 in Biloxi? There is currently no one from Oxford signed up to compete, so you can bring home the prize for us!

Last day to register is April 15; forms can be found online here.

Old-Fashioned Grocery in Water Valley

1 Aug

When you’re in the mood for a lazy drive away from the Square, consider the quaint little grocery called The B.T.C. just up the road at 301 N. Main St. in Water Valley.

According to co-owner Alexe van Beuren, The B.T.C. is first and foremost a grocery, but it also houses a small, informal cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and breakfast all day on Sunday. Breakfast highlights include housemade sausage gravy and grits, while lunch features an array of soups, salads, and sandwiches. It may be a simple menu, but Alexe says it’s made with love by Dixie Grimes (former head chef at Oxford’s Downtown Grille). Dixie also makes the grocery’s deli spreads; salads, such as watermelon feta; and frozen casseroles and entrees.

B.T.C. also stocks deli salads such as Tex-Mex pimento cheese and hand-pulled chicken salad; take-home casseroles (think hoop and havarti macaroni, jalapeno grits); and deli meats and cheeses that are sliced daily. Have a sweet tooth? Cora is on hand creating fried pies, chocolate buttermilk cake and other decadent treats.

The cafe is informal, with a playhouse for children, and affordable pricing, including some $2 sandwiches and a full-plate breakfast (eggs, bacon, biscuit and grits) for $5.99.

According to Alexe, the grocery carries several items not found anywhere else in the state, such as Eduardo’s handmade pasta from San Francisco. And B.T.C. Grocery offers delivery service to Oxonians who can’t make the trip to Water Valley, meeting customers at the local Garden Center on Fridays (same prices as if you had driven to Water Valley and shopped yourself).

B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery on Urbanspoon

Kansas City-Style BBQ Near Oxford

6 Jun

Going back and forth between Oxford and Batesville, you’ve probably passed Big D’s Competition Style Barbeque numerous times over the past few months that it’s been open at 27918 Hwy 6 (it took the place of Red Onion, which moved down the street).

But did you know that every time you passed it, you were passing by competition-style barbecue made by someone who has won at least a dozen awards while a member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society? The trophies are on display in the restaurant if you care to take a gander.

Some of what you can find on the menu includes ribs, brisket, chicken, hamburgers, catfish, homemade Mississippi toast, hush puppies and homemade desserts (click above to view the full menu).

Big D’s is open Thursdays through Saturdays 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Large orders and tailgating packages are available. Call 662-609-7276 for more information.

UPDATE 6/18/12: This restaurant has closed.

Big Bad Breakfast to Open Second Location

3 Jun

According to The Birmingham News, James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence is teaming up with Birmingham’s Fresh Hospitality Group to open a second location of his popular Oxford-based Big Bad Breakfast.

The new Big Bad Breakfast location should open late this year or in early 2013 in a former Movie Gallery location near the intersection of Alabama 119 and U.S. 280 in the Inverness area. The 3,200-square-foot building should seat about 120 diners.

View the full story here.

Big Bad Breakfast on Urbanspoon

Yocona Cravings Keeping You Up at Night?

15 May

There’s some exciting news for fans of Yocona River Inn/Yocona in Exile. While the restaurants may be closed, former owner Paige Osborn has been recruited for a new gig as executive chef/general manager at Doc’s Table at 14 S. Main Street in Water Valley, MS. You can find her serving up favorites such as steaks, catfish, and yes, even her infamous bread and butter.

Owned by two Oxford-based podiatrists, Craig Williams and Michael Whitmore, Doc’s Table opened at the end of last year. When the new restaurant began to struggle in April, the owners called in Paige to help them turn things around.

Check out the menus (there are three) and note the serving times for each; Doc’s offers different menus on different days and at different times. For more information, call the restaurant at 662-473-0279.

UPDATE 8/21/12: Doc’s Table has closed.

Get Outside This Saturday

4 May

Lots of activities going on this Saturday; get outside and check them out!

The Mid-Town Farmers’ Market opens Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The first Saturday of each month (including tomorrow) will be a children’s day conducted by Sue Castens, with face painting and other fun activities beginning around 8 a.m. The Wednesday market will start on May 9th (8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). For information about the vendors, see the market website here.

The Plein Air Montessori School is holding its 3rd Annual Kidfest from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Taylor with food, music, carnival games, moon bounces, face painting, stories on the stage, dancing and more.

Taylorpalooza, the YAC annual membership picnic, is this Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the grounds of Plein Air in Taylor. There will be live music on the lawn and a family cookout sponsored by Polk’s Meat and Party Waitin’ to Happen. The picnic is free to members of the Arts Council.

The World’s Largest Crappie Festival is happening in Water Valley on Saturday with food, music, games, and, of course, the crappie weigh in! Check out the festival website for event highlights.


Love Bacon?

9 Apr

If you’re a die hard bacon fan, you won’t want to miss Zingerman’s Camp Bacon coming up May 31 to June 3 at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. How does an event in Michigan relate to Oxford, you ask? Proceeds from the event benefit our local Southern Foodways Alliance.

There will be a Bacon Ball, a Bacon Street Fair and a full lineup of presenters who are ready to talk bacon!

Hungry for more information? Get all of the details at the Camp Bacon website here.



Waste Not Want Not

9 Jan

credit: leeks 'n' bounds

I just finished watching a special on Food Network called The Big Waste. I watched because I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of food waste that occurs in my own home. I’ve been making an effort to buy only what I need so that food doesn’t get thrown out, but I have to admit that there’s still room for improvement.

After watching the show and seeing the unbelievable amount of food that has to be discarded every day by farmers, restaurants and grocery stores because we, as a nation, have become  accustomed to expecting perfection in the food we buy, it inspired me to try even harder to monitor my food waste, and also to spread the word to those here in Oxford who may also have concerns about the amount of food they’re putting in the trash bin each week.

If you want to catch the show, it will run again on January 14 at 3:00 p.m. Central Time (click here for more details).

In the meantime, below is a summary of tips for reducing food waste, provided by (click the link for more info).

1. Buy what you need and eat what you buy.

2. Buy fresh produce one week at a time.

3. Cook with canned/frozen vegetables if you don’t think you can use the fresh in time.

4. Stock your pantry.

5. Adapt recipes to use up what’s in your fridge, including leftovers.

6. Freeze leftover bread, vegetables and fruit before they go bad.

7. Combine fruit in cereal or smoothies to use it up.

8. Add vegetables to soups, casseroles, pastas, etc. before they go bad.

9. Transform leftovers into something new, such as stirring mashed potatoes into soup to create a creamy texture.

10. Use ingredients more than once over multiple meals.

Online Auction

23 Sep

There are three days left to participate in the Mississippi Tourism Association online auction. Quite a few interesting items are up for bid, including ones that involve food, such as gift certificates to AJ’s Seafood Grille and Sweet Peppers Deli; a cooking class for two; and several gift baskets.

Visit the auction site here.

Football Fridays at Castle Hill

18 Aug


Colonel’s Quarters inside Castle Hill Resort is ready for Ole Miss football season with a full line up of bands and specially prepared menus for every Friday night before a home game, which includes September 2, September 9, September 23, October 14, October 21, November 11 and November 21.

Check out all of the menus, complete with a full buffet with chef-attended carving station; pasta, shrimp and potato stations and more here

Call 662-234-3735 for reservations.


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